Our main male protagonist is still kicking ass even when his brain is busted.
At first, I planned to watch an older but immensely popular anime series that was aired last century (title withheld to create the air of suspense), but the last subbed episode of Blade of the Immortal comes out and I know right away that I have to watch it. Then midway of watching that anime, Tytania (a series I heard people say is similar to Legend of Galactic Heroes) also finished being subbed. Therefore, I will watch these two anime first before I start watching this mysterious anime title after them. Blade of the Immortal is a 2008 anime; therefore it will compete with Wolf and Spice for Anime of the Year 2008 title.
Manji, a samurai that is immortal because of a certain encounter, is enlisted by a damsel-in-distress who wants to take revenge for the death of her parents. The not-so-dynamic duo then embarks into a journey to find the killers of her parents so that Manji can hack them to death.
The 13 episodes covers only maybe one-third of the manga storyline (which I read), in a slightly watered-down version. While the story itself is very good, its presentation is not exactly outstanding and surprisingly ordinary (the presentation in the manga version is better IMO). The presentation become worse as the series progressed, and the premature ending mercifully puts an end to this. Nevertheless, this anime has a good pacing, although I think it may have slowed slightly towards the end too.
Character developments are also done well, but I can help but think that this aspect could have become much better if the series has more episodes (The lack of episodes is probably the only weakness this anime has). It (character developments) revolves around the two main protagonists this time around, but I know the other characters will also have their own upgrades when the story develops further as it is in the manga. There are no strong characters in this anime though, because in essence Blade of the Immortal (manga or anime) is strongly story-driven instead of being powered by immense characters the way titles like Urusei Yatsura did.
The ending is decent and paved the way for a second season that I will definitely watch. Although I have not heard any news about a new season yet, unlike Nodame Cantabile series that will have a third season later this year.
Our hero also like to put women in their place in this chauvinistic Japan.
Character designs in this anime is excellent (a trademark of this series really), with diverse types of characters. Almost all the important characters are imported from the manga very well. This anime is more seinen-like like Nodame Cantabile is, although I have issues with the hair colors of some of the characters. Definitely a positive point for this anime.
Voice acting in this anime is also great, with Manji the main male protagonist being outstanding. Others have done a decent job too, although it will be hard for me to judge based on low airtime that some characters has. Also a positive point of this anime.
The OST in this anime is great, with some nice insert songs too. The OP theme is also decent but not so for the ED theme. Another positive point of this anime.
The animation in this anime is fluid even in fast-paced scenes. The choreography in this samurai series is excellent and more down-to-earth compared to similar series like Rurouni Kenshin or Samurai Deeper Kyo that put a lot of emphasis on overelaborate techniques. The director has done well except for the presentation issues I have mentioned in the story section.
8 out of 10. I am looking forward for a possible second season of this excellent series. Still, Wolf and Spice’s reign as the holder of Anime of the Year 2008 title continues. Tytania is the next anime that will be reviewed in this blog later.
Some of the sick and sadistic things that happened in this anime.